A little ghost unapologetically makes the most of being different.
From the beginning, pink-sheeted Gilbert stands out among all the other white-draped ghosts, but his parents love him no less for it. His peers accept him too, letting him daydream alone in his room at Ghost School when he wants to. But the principal is not so understanding, banishing him to the Abandoned Tower when Gilbert can summon only a weak "Ba...ba...bahoo" during "real ghost" class. Off Gilbert floats to the tower, where he meets a black cat named Meow, who wears a pink bow on his tail and shares Gilbert's penchant for interior decoration. They make the tower into a cozy home, where they entertain all the other ghosts when they get tired of haunting. What with the color and behavior codes planted in the story and illustrations, it's hard not to read this as a coming-out allegory, but the agenda does nothing to weigh down its sheer, goofy good-heartedness. Van Genechten adopts a gray palette for the ghostly scenes, Gilbert's pink sheet noticeably standing out; Gilbert and Meow's tower home features green-and-pink curtains and porcelain tea things, all lit with a rosy glow. Children will wonder why Gilbert's loving parents don't stick up for him, but they'll also applaud the way Gilbert calmly makes his own way.
"Different" never looked so appealing. (Picture book. 3-5)